Now let's see if I have this straight: If it's colder, it's global warming. If it's hotter, it's global warming. If there's more snow, it's the same answer. If there's less snow? Well, you guessed it.
At least, that's what "leading federal university and climate scientists" will conclude based on a recent Associated Press story.
The thrust behind the warming agenda is the assumption that scientists agree man is the cause of climate change. The solution lies in curtailing his carbon emissions in order to save the planet.
However, is this really what most professionals in the field believe?
Not according to a peer-reviewed, extensive study by University of Alberta Professor Lianne M. Lefsrud, and Vienna University Professor Renate E. Meyer.
The survey found that almost all (99.4 percent) respondents concluded that the climate is changing. However, there is "considerable disagreement as to the cause, consequences and lines of action."
According to their study, only 36 percent of geoscientists (earth scientists) and related-field engineers believe that humans are creating global warming. They are categorized into what the two professors call the "Comply with Kyoto" model (the 1997 attempt by world governments to limit man's effect on climate change). These same survey respondents support the principles of the Kyoto treaty. They also express agreement with the concept that humans are the primary cause of any warming trend.
But a majority of the 1,077 sampled in the study concluded nature is the primary cause of any recent trends, not necessarily humans. They also agreed that any warming in the future would not be a significant threat.
The survey found that at least 56 percent of these scientists fell into four other categories: "Nature is Overwhelming," "Economic Responsibility," "Fatalists" and the "Regulation Activist" models.
Twenty-four percent of those who participated fit into the "Nature is Overwhelming" model. They see climate change as a normal function of the Earth's weather cycles, and see no important impact on personal lives.
Ten percent fit into the "Economic Responsibility" model. This group takes an "agnostic" view of the issue. It is unknown as to whether man or nature is the cause — perhaps both. They too believe that whatever changes taking place are insignificant. Concerns dominate their views as to costs and regulations affecting world economies. They tend to see supporting "science" at this point in time as a "fraud" or "hoax."
The "Fatalists" compose about 17 percent of the surveyed scientists. They also view little impact of any climate change on normal human activity. They tend to agree that the science is not "settled" (as Al Gore opines), and that much of the research reported today has a biased slant created by those who have a personal or emotional interest in the results.
The final category composed of 5 percent of the respondents is called the "Regulation Activists" model. They believe climate change is both human and natural, but will result in a small risk to human activity. They are conflicted as to the International Panel of Climate Change conclusions, and also agree that the science is far from "settled." Paradoxically, they believe in more government regulation, yet assert that the Kyoto protocols were negotiated "without sufficient scientific information."
The study partially concludes with: "These professionals do not ascribe to the monolithic, homogenous logic based on shared cultural-cognitive conceptions ... Nor is this merely a binary debate of whether climate change is 'science or science fiction.'"
It is clear that there are both proponents and naysayers of man-made global warming who have drawn conclusions based on misconceptions, insufficient information, personal biases and emotion. There are still yet-to-be discovered facts that may someday bring consensus to future aspects of this worldwide debate.
Steve Hansen is a Lodi writer.